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Carlisle Colts travelled to Keighley in W Yorkshire for their Round 3 game in the National Colts Plate competition, looking to avenge their earlier defeat to another Yorkshire team, Doncaster, in the Cup.
With a keen NW wind blowing across the pitch and heavy sticky conditions this wasn’t going to be a flowing backs game. Carlisle started by showing their intentions to dominate the forwards, by winning the first scrum against the head, and soon had the Keighley defence on the back foot.
Some driving mauls had the visitors camped on the Keighley try line and only some desperate defence averted a couple of early Carlisle tries, hooker Fisher being particularly unlucky in being adjudged to have been held up. However scrum half Harkins soon had the forwards marshalled for another attempt on the Keighley line, and a 10 man shove drove the visitors over, with centre Foster grounding the ball for the first points of the day.
Carlisle continued to keep the home side in their own half for long periods of the first half, but failed to convert the advantage into further points. It was one of the few Keighley excursions into the Carlisle 22, that resulted in them going over close to the posts to gain a converted try and a lead of 7points to 5 going into half time.
With some fresh legs on at half time and the wind at their backs the Carlisle side were keen to press home this advantage. With some strong powerful running from second row Nicoll creating holes in the defence, the Carlisle side were soon camped on the Keighley try line. Working the ball across the Keighley line, from a ruck right in front of the posts, Harkins was quick to nip round the side and dive over for the second Carlisle try.
The Keighley forwards were beginning to tire, and although their back line still posed some threats, the Carlisle side were able to cover the breaks, with the Robertson brothers letting very little past them. Midway through the second half the Carlisle forwards set up a driving maul on the Keighley 10m line, and drove the Keighley defence back to their try line, where the home side were forced to collapse the maul and concede a penalty try.
The visitors were not finished and with another maul on the right sucking in the Keighley defence, the ball was worked right across the back line for winger Kelly to go over in the left corner, Minett converting for his hatrick of conversions.
This was a very useful performance against a determined Keighley side, and a good start to 2012 by the Colts, who will be looking to carry this level of performance forward into the next round.
Kick off time: 1pm
Won / drawn / lost: won
Result: 7 v 26
Half time score: 7 v 5
Report sent in by: Bill Glendinning